Thursday
OCTOBER 17
2019

QRA: What in the Reno is “QRA?”

Burncards

About two weeks ago, a truck driver came to my work to pick up freight, as happens on a semi-regular basis here.  Upon walking in my dock door, he had this angry, “Don’t mess with me,” attitude, but overcompensated to the power of ten.  He did his job, and he didn’t say a word, but it was the look in the eyes, and the way he trounced about my warehouse.  It must have been a territorial thing, or a “I’m a dog in a new house,” tail-stiff-as-a-board, haunches shaking and teeth ready to go.  I had never seen this guy before, and since I’m in my warehouse, I have little to fear from this guy, as his nature was defensive more so than anything.  At work, I’m typically a focused, direct, organized and no-bullshit kind of guy, and on top of it, I’m normally very easy to get along with.  Ask anyone who has worked with me.  Overall, I wasn’t afraid of this guy, there was no need to be.  I’ve seen dangerous people, they don’t “look like,” anything, they just give off this electricity.  This poor truck driver just came off as… upset.

I treated this guy as I do most people who act like this, especially in a professional environment, I simply ignored the attitude, talked with him, pried a bit of information out of him, and eventually it lightened him up.  Evidently, he and I both worked at UPS at the hub in Sparks at similar times, and that really made a difference to him.  Off he went, me none the wiser.

Today happens.  I get a visit from the same guy to pick up some freight, except this time, he is practically elated to see me.  He rushes over, maneuvers the dock plate, grabs the freight with my pallet jack, bullshits with me like we’re old pals, fills out paperwork and is just a gem of a truck driver.  He really wanted to linger around and shoot the crap, talk shop, all that, which I really didn’t mind, but in my head I’m thinking… “…what in manic Reno hell?”   It was quite funny, but at least the guy was a bit more relaxed, if not just as overcompensating.

This isn’t the first time I’ve had this happen in this town.  Really, similar instances happen far too often.

We have a concept here at Burncards we like to call “QRA.”  It stands for “Quintessential Reno Attitude.”   You can thank Ken Manz for this concept, adapted from “TCB,” or “Typical Cracker Behavior,” the stereotypically-sad instance wherein white people repeat specific activities, notions or…behavior.   Like TCB, the QRA end of things is aimed at a group of people (Renoites, mostly) that seem to represent a stereotypical attitude toward just about anything.   Some notable examples are, in my experience:

1)  Spitting on new things, art, windows and the mirrors of bathrooms.

2)  If male, spitting in an overly tough manner when passing by another male on the street, doubly-effective if putting a bounce in your step while doing this.

3)  Yelling “faggot,” at pedestrians, while in moving cars, through the open windows.

4)  Avoiding and talking about the Citifare bus system as “The Shame Train.”

5)  Witnessing something totally unacceptable in public and not doing a thing about it (call cops, tell them to stop, inform security) and then complaining to everyone else who won’t do a thing about it, either.

6)  Finding just about any excuse NOT to do something about anything:  It’s too hot outside/it’s too cold outside, it’s too new/it’s too old, it’s too corporate/it’s too small, it’s downtown/it’s not downtown, it’s boring, I hate the people who go there, it’s not local/there’s no selection, blah blah blah.

7)  Using the roads, highways and byways as a place to enforce your personal philosophy about speed, who-owns-what-lane, freeway merging, and who should or shouldn’t be in front of you.

8)  When making a free right turn, honking obnoxiously at people in the crosswalk when pedestrians have the right of way with the little lit-up walking dude.

9)  Going above and beyond, way, way, way beyond, for not purpose or goal, but a over-the-top way of getting noticed/attention, making your point, or stating your general existence.  See this video.

10)  Being tough.  Looking tough.  Talking tough.  Spitting tough.  Doing so in groups, at dog parks, at bars, in public, wherever other tough people might be.

What this gentleman expressed in my place of business both two weeks ago and today are prime examples of “QRA.”  I’ve noticed similar attitudes in towns of the same size and general demographics as Reno, but not quite as strong as here.   Let’s face it:  We’re a bunch of edgy folks, very territorial, with something to prove, unwilling to suggest alternatives to anything that sucks, and yet the first to bitch when there’s a problem.  When we do this in public for all to see, we’re committing QRA.

In a way, the QRA is a study of Reno, and there’s probably a multitude of reasons why Reno does things like this.

In recent discussions, a lot of people have genuinely found Reno becoming a less safe place to be.  Violent crime has gone up overall, I’ve heard of rapings, muggings, and robberies increasing.  This is serious stuff, folks!  QRA be damned, at one point we used to be a pleasantly safe city, perhaps with a lot of misanthrope attitude and unmerry passers-by, but when people start really having problems in their own town, it’s time to put that shit aside, especially when there’s no real reason or root cause for it.  Our fake toughness, ignorance, whining and being scared ain’t going to cut it if we don’t become a community.

QRA as a label is intentionally funny.  It really doesn’t hurt anyone, it’s just an embarrassing part of why Reno tends to be a drag-ass city when things are trying to get someplace, culture to be established or status to be gained.   Much like the guy who stopped by my warehouse on the first visit, realized I didn’t play dice and then turned it around the next time we saw each other, maybe we can think about this when we’re being straight up assholes, whiners and defeatist/obstructionists out there.   This from is someone who both loves and loathes this town, has been here long enough to know better, and gets sucked into QRA with the best of them now and again.

Until then, allow us to post future instances of QRA: we encourage you to share your own instances of QRA either via e-mail, video, pictures or comments here at Burncards.com.   Hell, extra points if you recount yourself doing it!

Perhaps while we’re addressing the issue of QRA we can have some fun with it as well.  Which, incidentally, is a little QRA in itself.

Tags: , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Set your avatar at Gravatar